Thursday 23 November 2017

Lowry second in Austria

GOLF: Ireland's Shane Lowry posted a final-round 66 to share second place with Frenchman Thomas Levet two shots back.

In the end, it was home favourite Bernd Wiesberger who snatched victory with a superb seven-under-par last round of 65 in the Lyoness open in Austria.

The 26-year-old from Vienna caught the long-time leader Thorbjorn Olesen with a burst of four birdies in five holes around the turn and then took the lead with two more birdies at the 15th and 16th.

He finished with a spectacular 50-foot putt on the final green for a 19-under-par total at Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg -- only an hour away from his home.

A jubilant Wiesberger said the victory had made it "the best day of my life so far".

Victory saw Wiesberger become the second Austrian to win his national open after Markus Brier in 2006. It came just three months after his first European Tour victory at the Ballantine's Championship.

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Colm Moriarty is on course for his best finish of the 2012 European Challenge Tour season after a four-under-par third round of 68 moved him to tied eighth place, six shots off the lead set by England's Chris Paisley.

Moriarty got off to a perfect start with a birdie at the first but followed that with a bogey six on the second. Back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth meant he reached the turn in two-under before three birdies and a bogey on the back nine helped him to his best round of the week at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa, outside Colchester, Essex.

"I had a good attitude today and that was the thing," said the Athlone man. "I played lovely today, maybe not as nicely as the second day but I holed a couple of putts and things went my way a little bit."

Paisley, meanwhile, launched himself into pole position in the most spectacular fashion as the Newcastle man holed the first albatross of his life on the way to a seven-under-par third round of 65 to move two shots clear of Wales' Stuart Manley.

The 26-year-old's two at the par five 16th hole came courtesy of a four iron approach from 227 yards, which rolled into the hole and contributed to a six-under-par back nine as he enters the final day on 15 under.

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Bernhard Langer will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the Senior Open Championship after overcoming windy conditions to post a round of 66 at Turnberry.

The round of the day came from Fred Couples, who shot a six-under-par 64 to claim second place, with Australia's Peter Fowler a further shot behind after recording a round of 65.

Langer, who led after a first-round 64 but slipped back to joint-second with a 73 on Friday, started superbly by reaching the turn in 30 thanks to four birdies and an eagle on the 538-yard par-five seventh and hung on to finish four under for the day.

He bogeyed the 11th and 15th but came back with a birdie on the 17th to reclaim the lead.

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HURLING: Mattie Murphy's Galway cruised to an emphatic All-Ireland minor hurling quarter-final success over Wexford at O'Connor Park, Tullamore yesterday, winning 4-20 to 2-11.

A dynamic opening period display featuring goals from Michael Mullins and Darragh Dolan helped the holders establish a commanding 2-15 to 0-5 interval lead.

Wexford improved slightly after the restart with Conor McDonald pinching a goal, but Galway responded with a major from Adrian Morrissey.

Late on Wexford's Donal Shanley and Jason Flynn traded goals as an impressive Galway ran out easy winners.

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Clare forwards Bobby Duggan and Niall Deasy terrorised Down in yesterday's Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor hurling quarter-final as the Banner County cruised into the last four by a scoreline of 3-19 to 0-5.

The beaten Munster finalists will face Dublin in the semi-final on August 12 after thumping Ulster champions Down by 23 points at Cusack Park, Mullingar.

Duggan hit 1-7, including 1-6 before half-time, and Deasy helped himself to 1-5 in this one-sided rout.

Down, appearing in the All-Ireland series for the first time in 18 years, were simply outclassed as Clare bounced back from their provincial final defeat against Tipperary with a routine win.

At half-time, Clare were 2-11 to 0-3 clear as Duggan and Shane O'Donnell struck for first half goals.

Eamon Fennessy's team added a third goal five minutes after the break when Deasy netted from close range after Jamie Malone's initial shot was superbly saved by Down goalkeeper Seán Savage.

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CAMOGIE: Camogie's new blood continued to progress yesterday as Clare and Dublin won their play-offs at O'Moore Park to make it to the All-Ireland senior quarter-finals.

With Wexford and Galway already in the semi-finals, the two teams are now ranked in the top six in the country at worst, as a result of these performances.

The manner of their wins could not have been more different though, as Clare produced a stunning second half performance to prevail 1-19 to 1-7 against Tipperary, while Dublin needed extra time to edge it 0-17 to 2-10.

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CRICKET: The West Indies extended their first-innings lead to 171 over New Zealand before being bowled out for 522 on the fourth morning of the first Test in Antigua yesterday.

Starting the day on 442 for six in their reply to the Black Caps' 351 all out, the home side added a further 80 runs today with overnight pair Narsingh Deonarine and captain Darren Sammy doing most of the damage.

Deonarine moved from 54 to 79 before he was bowled by Chris Martin with the total on 497 and then, after Sunil Narine had come and gone for four, the big-hitting Sammy made exactly 50 -- his third Test half-century -- with four fours and three sixes.

Sammy was the penultimate man out, falling caught and bowled to Daniel Vettori with the score on 516, before Doug Bracewell trapped Ravi Rampaul lbw for one to wrap up the innings and bring about the lunch interval.

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TENNIS: Josh Goodall of Great Britain won the 2012 FBD Mens Irish Open, triumphing yesterday at Fitzwilliam TC.

Goodall, 26, faced Michael Look of Australia in the finals, winning the first set 7-6 followed by a 6-4 win in the second set to win the final and claim the 2012 title. This was Goodall's seventh Futures final of 2012 with five of them resulting in a title win.

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JAMES CLUSKEY'S hopes of qualifying for his first doubles final in an ATP Challenger Tour were yesterday dashed in Kazakhstan.

The 25-year-old Dubliner and France's Fabrice Martin, the No 4 seeds, were edged in the semi-finals by the the top seeds, Russia's Konstantin Kravchuk and Ukraine's Denys Molchanov, 3-6 6-3 10/8 (champions' tie-break) in the hardcourt event in the capital city of Astana.

"We lost the first set outdoors and then we broke early in the second set and were 2-1 up when it started to rain," said Cluskey. "We were off (the court) a while, and then we went indoors and held and broke again on a deuce at 5-3 to win the set. But in the third they played very well. And they won the Penza tournament in Russia last week."

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Albano Olivetti and partner Elie Rousset of France overcame Ireland's James McGee and Jaime Pulgar-Garcia of Spain in the Men's doubles final of the FBD Men's Irish Open at a rainy Fitzwilliam TC on Friday night. The French duo took the first set 6-3 followed by a 6-4 set to win the title.

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